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Mona Vale

    Mona Vale, Sydney (northern beaches)

Vibe: Beach walk

Location: Beach, outer suburb/neighbourhood

Rent: apartment rents are in themid range, house rental prices are higher

Mona Vale is suburbia by a surf beach! It's got great surf, a rock pool for swimming laps a kids' pool and it's a popular beach for snorkelling. This suburb has a relaxed feel to it, plenty of brick family sized homes, a few apartments, and a large village shopping centre with a handful of good cafes. It's definitely family territory where swimming, and hanging out on the beach are a regular part of every day life. Generally, rents here a little bit cheaper than those closer in to the city. Mona Vale has very good public transport (buses), a golf course, and a public hospital. The only drawback to Mona Vale is it is a fair way from the city centre. A bus trip from Mona Vale into the city centre will take about one hour.

Parking: usually fine but can get hard around the beach on hot days. Shoe equivalent: thongs and Nine West. Post code: 2103. Distance: 35km from the city centre. Direction: North East. (More info below...)

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1. MANLY BEACH AND MANLY TO SPIT BRIDGE WALK Print E-mail

day-trip-to-Manly.jpg
This is one of the best beaches in Sydney with a relaxed and happening vibe year round. It's a mecca for surfers, beach bods and people who enjoy walking.

The trip to Manly by ferry from Circular Quay is about the best ferry trip in Sydney. It's a 30min ride on the harbour. Map



MANLY BEACH

Once off the ferry, you can turn  left and head for Manly Oceanworld, a large aquarium, or hire a kayak for a harbour paddle (www.manlyboathire.com.au). Or follow the crowds through The Corso (shopping mall) to the beach for a swim, to sunbathe, or take a surfing lesson. Manly Surf School - Ph: (02) 9977 6977 www.manlysurfschool.com

Locals use the promenade for exercise. To the left, the promenade takes you to Queenscliff Beach and to Manly Lagoon. And to the right, it will take you all the way to Shelly Beach, a protected beach popular with scuba divers and parents with children. Map

 

Beach views:

Once you reach Shelly Beach, continue walking up the hill to the car park. From here you get great views of the north shore beaches. The path to the left takes you past good viewing spots through a treed dirt path and back down to the beach. If you have kids, this is an easy walk for them to do.

From the car park, the path to the right takes you on a narrow dirt track up a hill. Once up the top, the dirt track will give the option of turning left or right. If you turn left, it'll take you to a couple of great lookout spots and great views of Sydney’s northern beaches.

 

If you turn right, it'll take you through a hole in an old blue stone wall and on to a billabong where, when there is enough water, you can sit quietly and listen to the frogs.

 

If you continue along the path, it will lead you to some old battlements where ammunition was stored at a time when Sydney thought it might come under attack. The battlements are accessed by wooden boardwalks.

 

Continuing along the path will take you to a road, turn right and walk down to the International College of Tourism and Hotel Management (formerly St Patrick's College). It's a very impressive building that was once a convent. It is where Nicole Kidman got married to Keith Urban. Cut through the grounds to make your way back down to the beach, via Manly's streets.


Kids will enjoy walking through the hole in the wall, and checking out the secret ammunition storage shelters.


North Head:
If you drive to Manly Beach (via Military Rd if coming from the city or lower north shore), visit North Head for expansive and breathtaking Sydney Harbour views. To reach North Head, drive up Darley Rd past the Manly hospital and turn left at the roundabout. Map



GETTING THERE

Ferry: Manly ferry from Circular Quay. The ferry trip is 30 minutes each way. Manly ferry timetable.

Bus: Take bus route 171 from Stand C on East Esplanade (to the left of Manly Wharf), to the City - Wynyard.

Drive: If you are coming from the city, you will need to cross the Harbour Bridge or go through the tunnel. Take the Manly turn off. This will take you along Military Rd and over the Spit Bridge. Once over the bridge, get in the right lane, turn right at Sydney Rd. This will take you straight down to Manly.



MANLY TO SPIT BRIDGE WALK spit-bridge-walk.jpb


This is one of the most picturesque walks you can do in Sydney. It takes about 3 hours one way and takes you past some beautiful almost secluded beaches which, at the height of summer, have ice-creams and cold drinks delivered by speed boat.

Map



You can start at Spit Bridge or Manly. It is advisable to get a map of the walk. Maps are available at the Manly Visitor Information Centre at Manly Wharf and  the Manly Environment Centre on Pittwater Rd. To view the map now, click HERE
If you would like to learn more about Aboriginal culture in the area, click HERE.


It is best if you begin the walk at Manly, because starting at Spit Bridge can be confusing unless you have done it several times before.

However...


If you start at Spit Bridge - the path begins on the east side of the bridge, behind Avona Crescent. This part of the path has trees and is known as Fisher Bay Walk. This can be hard to find so just ask for directions. Walk until you get to a small beach, Sandy Bay Beach, and then walk along the beach. The track begins again at Clontarf Reserve. Then you are on your way.

 

If you start at Manly, you should be able to get a map from the Tourist Information office at Manly Wharf. If not, turn left at the wharf and walk towards the Aquarium, then just keep walking along the Esplanade. At two points the path will take you into streets, just keep to your left and taking left turns and you will be heading in the right direction. The Grotto Point Light House is worth a detour. Take water, a hat, and sunscreen if it’s a hot day. Don’t forget the camera.

GETTING THERE

Catch the Manly ferry at Circular Quay if you want to start at Manly. Once you reach Spit Bridge, you can take the bus (143,144) back to Manly, or there are several buses to the city centre - Wynyard, QVB or Railway Square (Central Station).

If you want to start at Spit Bridge, catch any bus that will take you along Military Rd to Spit Bridge (buses to Palm Beach, Balgowlah, Manly, Dee Why or Warringah Mall). If you are starting from the city, some of these buses can be caught from Railway Square (Central Station), others leave from the QV Building, and all pass through Wynyard. Ask the bus driver to let you off at Spit Bridge, after you have crossed the bridge. Once you have completed the walk, the Manly ferry can take you back to Circular Quay in the city. It's a 30 minute ferry ride past spectacular scenery. Manly ferry timetable.

 


OTHER WALKS


Suggested other walks include KU-RING-GAI CHASE NATIONAL PARK, ROYAL NATIONAL PARK, TARONGA ZOO TO BALMORAL BEACH,  BONDI TO BRONTE AND COOGEE WALK,  and THE BLUE MOUNTAINS

For further information on directions: go to www.whereis.com/whereis/directions.do